31 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Never 4 star - should be downgraded asap
"We have just returned from a week at the '4 star' Grand Sharm hotel. This does not even deserve to be classed as a 2 star hotel. Staff are very friendly and try to assist where possible but any problem is met with yes we will fix it but nothing happens unless they are pestered until the job is done. The reception are was not as expected, small and grubby (getting dark so thought it was us not seeing very great). Taken to our room in a block of six which was fine ('porter' said he had picked this specially for us!! turns out this is his favourite saying to new arrivals). Room a good size, sheets looked clean and room seemed ok until we went into the bathroom - the bath was filthy and cracked, the shower head not staying up, the pole for the shower head rusty, the shower curtain filthy (I think it had been hanging there for the 6 years we had been told this hotel had been opened) the grouting between the tiles was black with mould and the floor tiles were all cracked and there were hairs both in the bath and on the floor. Both the sink and the toilet were suprisingly clean, I dared to take the toilet brush from the holder and it was absolutely disgusting (makes me shiver to think of it now). However we were here for the sunshine so intended to make the best of a bad job, unpacked and went for a shower, no hot water!! We complained to reception when we went for dinner and were told they would fix it. Hotel full of Russians and the food seemed to be catering for their tastes. We eventually heard another british voice and went to speak to them and they had the same complaints re the food, accommodation and star rating but they also said the sun was hot (this was what we came to Egypt for). Next morning I had a list of things to be fixed and cleaned (hot water ok in morning) including a 'freestanding' safe which wouldn't lock and curtains which were more off the hooks than on them. I was told to go back at 2pm and they would give us another room which they did - a better room with balcony and seaview, bathroom a bit cleaner but still dirty and shower head hanging off. We were told this would be fixed but we eventually did it ourselves that night by using some plastic ties we had but we couldn't do anything about the water pressure which just dribbled out. The linen and towels have seen better days and our room was one of the last to be done every day around 4pm which is why I don't think they are cleaned properly as it seems there is only one person doing at least 10 blocks of 6 apartment/rooms. The British were all in the same area as I think the Russians were, not sure about any other nationalities. There seemed to be more staff working on the gardens than anywhere else. The pools looked really nice but the area surrounding the pools were never cleaned apart from a small brush and dustpan to pick up cigarette ends in the mornings - some soft drink was spilt by a guest on the 2nd day and the mark and sticky area was still there when we left. The sunbeds and the towels need to be upgraded urgently. Entertainment at night was one bar with very loud disco music and nowhere to sit and be able to have a chat with other guests. We asked for the music to be turned down a couple of the evenings but it was soon turned up very loud again. The beach may only be 500mtr away from the hotel but these are private beaches. There is a free bus service to the public beach we could use was at least a mile away and not worth visiting in unless you want to snorkel from a very wobbly walkway over the water. Every day as new british guests arrived all we were hearing was this is not what we expected, this is never a 4 star hotel. We got the impression the hotel was trying to improve itself (slowly) in various departments as in the garden being tidied up then in the last couple of days the food was looking more edible and a bit more tasty. Now they need to upgrade the blocks by stripping out the bathrooms and installing decent showers with enough hot water and pressure to have a good wash. Before this 'upgrade' is done though the star rating should be downgraded to reflect how the hotel is at this particular time."
- Travel date: 4th November 2010
Beautiful location and hotel, but bar staff could do with some training
"This was my second visit for new year to this hotel, and this year I took my brother and his fiance as we enjoyed it so much last year. The location is superb and brilliant for snorkelling. We had a spacious room with a massive balcony overlooking the sea, couldn't fault the cleanliness, the cleaner worked very hard and I appreciated the animals out of towels and petals on the bed - he was a credit to the hotel. I enjoyed the food, as I did last year, the omelet chief was a bit tiring as another reviewer pointed out - don't know whether it is the sense of humour? Now for the criticism..... as another reviewer pointed out, we were all inclusive and found that most bar staff did not want to part with the alcohol. One particular barman named Ahmed S. in the bar by reception was very rude. On one occasion we requested 4 vodkas for our party, only to be told they had none. I had to involve the Manager in the end and explain that it was not our problem whether they had run out or not. He rectified the situation. Also other bar staff would serve men before women, even if the woman had been waiting. However, as all inclusive guests paying a premium price I do not expect this treatment. I feel the Management definitely need to sort out some of the bar staff if they want guests to return to Royal Grand Sharm. I would recommend this hotel, because of the location and the fact that most staff were helpful and friendly, I think the management need to make sure this is not spoilt by the actions of a few staff."
- Travel date: 10th February 2010
Tired hotel but nice
"My girlfriend and I have just come back after staying a week at the Royal Grand Sharm. Originally we were booked for the Jolie Ville Royal Peninsula, but bad weather had damaged that before our arrival, so our travelagent moved us and told us it was an upgrade. Speaking of location it was. The hotel is right by the sea with some beautiful coral reefs ideal for snorkling. In terms of other surroundings its close to Il Mercato, which I guess is fine, if your idea for a great vacation is to go shopping for the same brands you can get at the same price at home. It's also close to Alf Weila La Weila, which to my best understanding is a gigantic tourist trap with little of value. Anyway, back to the resort. The overall resort grounds are really nice and well looked after, but the rooms are tired. They really need a makeover to bring them up to the 5 stars this hotel claims, they have. It's also quite noisy as the walls are thin, so expect to be able to listen in on the conversations your neighbors are having in the middle of the night. The cleanliness can't be faulted though due to very dedicated personel. We want All Inclusive, and let me just say that I won't do that again. The food is more or less tasteless apart from the odd cooked-to-order thing at night. You would probably get a better experience taking a cap to Naama Bay and visit one of the restaurants there. But it's convient, I have to give it that. Just don't expect taste explositions as the chefs are somewhat scared of using any form of spices, including salt and pepper. Also make sure, you like Italians and Russians. The latters culture is quite noisy when they talk (especially the men), and the former just babbles on and play loud music at the beach. So if you want peace and quiet and not a peep, this hotel is not for you. If you like the cultural blend and some noise, this is perfect. Overall I would rate this with 3 stars based on the tired rooms and the very unimagianitive All Inclusive programme. But if you can live with that this could be a very good place for you to spend some good and fun days in the sun."
- Travel date: 2nd February 2010
Royal terrible hospitality
"terrible hotel The awful hotel after change of management and leaving of network Iberotel service has worsened: Towels on a beach of grey colour In numbers cockroaches Meal improbably tasteless Management became very unfriendly"
- Travel date: 30th January 2010
8 out of 10 - would definitely go back, but bear in mind.....
"My husband and I booked our weeks trip through 'on the beach' for Â£1093 all inclusive and believe that this was good value for money. For some reason it was booked under the Iberotel Grand Sharm which has a trip advisor rating of 36, however the hotel is no longer owned by Iberotel and is now called the Royal Grand Sharm, which has a trip advisor rating of 93 - confusing as it is the same hotel!!!! Good points: - A large resort with beautiful, well manicured grounds. - Food was good although if you're wheat/gluten intolerant like me you may feel like the options are limited as lots of pizza/pasta/pastries, although I always found something and the selection of salads is fabulous. If you're all inclusive this is based around one restaurant which some may find repetitive. There is an Italian restaurant which you can pay for but we didn't use it. - The hotel is well located for Il Mercato a Westernised mall area with McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks and a nice place to wonder around without being hassled like you are constantly in Naama bay. - Lovely restaurant terrace overlooking the sea. - Friendly staff (mostly). - Nice room for the amount of time you spend in it. Our sea view room had an enormous balcony and the sea was visible even when lying in bed. Bad Points: - Very poor alcohol selection - wines were acceptable but often warm. A vodka and diet coke, not a drink you can really get wrong, but they did. You have to ask for a double otherwise you don't even get half a measure. The diet coke was always warm and if you asked for ice and lemon it was as if you had asked him to recite the entire works of Shakespeare, honestly everyday they got it wrong! The only drink they seemed not to struggle with was beer which my husband said was good and always cold. Maybe it was just me, but my husband seemed to have less problems if he ordered he drinks so possibly a cultural issue aswell. - Snorkle gear not available free as it had been in other Sharm hotels. You can hire for 5 euro's each per day which would work out a lot if snorkelling everyday so we just bought some - although go to the local market and not the hotel shop! We paid 150 EGY for two sets, which I'm sure is still too much but who wants to spend there entire holiday haggling? - No bath, only shower which was a shame as I do like a good bath on holiday! - The daily hassling to go on boat trips, have massages, health treatments became a bit tiresome and even if you said 'no' one day they would always try again the next - maybe if you say 'no' a bit firmer they will leave you alone. - Bear in mind your all inclusive doesn't include the health club, internet, billiard table, cocktail menu, snorkel hire. - No beach. It may seem that there are more bad points than good but they are just things to be aware of. We had a great time and would definitely go back to this hotel. Those going in the next few weeks remember to take warm clothes for the evening because when the sun goes down it get very chilly - jeans, jumpers etc. Be nice to the waiters, give them a tip and they will make sure you get a nice table and your drinks quickly."
- Travel date: 30th January 2010
A bit worn around the edges
"My husband and I spent one week at this hotel to relax, wind down and soak up some sunshine. We were on the all-inclusive plan. The food was pretty average, a bit repetitive, particularly the salad bar. We sampled just about everything they served and did not have any tummy trouble. We found some of the staff a bit annoying. The omelet chef kept pretending not to understand me, making me ask and point again and again at the ingredients I wanted (he did this to several women). Just silliness. The fourth morning in a row that he did this to me, I told him he could keep the omelet and went for the boiled eggs instead. The staff at the spa, health club, divers club etc. kept trying to sell us treatments, they were wandering around the pool area and the beach area and we got really tired of them. The first day three different people from the hotel approached us in less than 15 minutes trying to sell massages! I had actually planned to get one, but got completely put off by the nagging. We have stayed in two other hotels in Egypt and have not experienced anything like this from the hotel staff before. Our room was on the ground floor by the heated pool. We had afternoon sun and a large terrace, but not much privacy. The bathroom was a bit worn and so was the room, but everything was clean and functional and there was plenty of hot water. We got twin beds with medium firm mattresses and slept very well. The mini bar was empty, perhaps because we were on all inclusive. No free internet service. We checked out the gym (normally we would use the gym 2-3 times in a week's stay) but this one was neither very inviting nor particularly well equipped, so we did not use it. On the bright side, there were plenty of sun beds, the guy who cleaned our room did an excellent job and check in/check out was very smooth."
- Travel date: 29th January 2010
"Just came back form a great stay at the iberotel grand sharm/royal grand sharm. Great service, and beautiful surroundings. The staff were polite and attending to our every needs. The snorkeling is great. We were not all inclusive, as we wanted to spend some time outside the hotel too, but really enjoyed the breakfast buffet, the Italian restaurant (!!) and the poolside restaurant which had really good salads."
- Travel date: 16th January 2010
Not very good value for money
"Overall a very pleasant holiday, thanks to lovely hotel good location and weather. Felt that the bar staff in the italian bar needed some manners. We were made to feel like alcoholics for asking for more than one drink when there were four in our party. Considering the money paid for hotel is meant to cover all drinks you should be entitled to have as many or few as you want and shouldn't be questioned for getting more than one drink. It took managment to get involved to rectify the situation, i feel we shouldn't have been made to feel bad for wanting to have a drink. Generally i would recommend this hotel, but be prepared to take your own alcohol!"
- Travel date: 12th January 2010
Great stay - and safe bet
"It's tricky choosing which five star to go for in Sharm el Sheikh - they are all big places on the coast etc. - but this turned out to be a very good choice for a family looking for winter sun. It has three pools - the largest not heated in December but just about usable - the others a comfortable 25 degrees - which is the same as the sea. Definitely go for the all inclusive - you'll save money and going out to eat isn't easy or reliable. At the hotel we had a good variety of hot buffet food and salad for breakfast and lunch and at dinner which also included a nightly bbq, fresh pizzas, pancakes, waffles and some Egyptian specialities. We had good service, and no tummy bugs. During the day there is unlimited beer wine coffee etc with cakes in the morning and something like a sandwich or burger and chips snack in the afternoon. Rooms were pretty good, slightly faded, but very clean and not one cockroach anywhere all holiday. We paid extra for a delux seaview 'bronze' room - this seemed like all the other delux (ie slightly larger) rooms and next time I'd go for an ordinary delux. Hassles from health club/massage/diving etc people is minimal after the first day when, if you ask them nicely, they will leave you alone to veg out by the pool. Snorkelling is a must - you can buy decent masks for about Â£8 sterling in Old market (a Â£3 taxi ride away and cheaper than the standard hotel rip off shop) and great reef snorkelling is just at the end of the hotel's own jetty. You will never have easier access to an amazing variety of fish and coral in clear warm water - even in December. If you want culture then Sharm is not for you - but for an effortless warm sunny winter getaway with swimming this is hard to beat. As other reviewers say, this isn't quite 5-star by Western standards, but really it's not far off and they really do try and make your stay so good you'll want to come back - which we might. AW Bristol"
- Travel date: 13th December 2009
"It is a very nice property. I would say it was probably built 1997, well maintained. I am not sure when it changed name from Iberotel Grand Sharm but keep that name in mind or your taxi cab might drive you to the wrong place (happened to us twice). I think this is one of the best in Sharm but that said if you have an alternate destination in mine I would say look at that town instead, we took a bus to the hotel and saw some very rough places on the way. The place is a pretty sad vegas-type stip in the middle of nowhere... The "beach" is not what we would call a beach in the UK, you can not get in unless you have shoes on or from a jetty out to sea (only for good swimmers). I would also recommend stay clear of the all inclusive option unless you are on a strict budget. November 09 I paid less than Â£7 for a file steak but was mistaken for all inclusive at first and served 1/5 rum, then when they realized at the bar we were not all inclusive the drinks had 1/3 rum 2/3 cola. The staff is good but not great at details, one day we came back to the room to find no toilet paper and another day no wine glasses."
- Travel date: 16th November 2009
Wonderful and relaxing....but please read for info
"A few do's and don'ts before you read the rest... DO's: 1. Men, take shoes as they request that closed shoes and long trousers to be worn at dinner. Breakfast and Lunch you are fine with shorts, flip-flops etc 2. Take shower and hair shampoo etc as the ones provided aren't all that 3. Take a travel kettle if you crave hot drinks in your room as not provided 4. Visit the DIVA pool, the quietest out of the 4 pools if you are after a more relaxing Pool experience 5. Take snorkel gear if you have as hiring could be expensive, fins however not ness as the snorkeling is easy without 6. Take Imodium......we got through a pack each, however someone did say it doesnt work out there and you are better off purchasing some of their own stuff 7. Lots of sun cream. we started with 30 and de-creased from there. there is a sea breeze if you stay on the "beach" (which is man made, but fine) so you WILL burn if you dont cream up 8. Bacon lovers, eat lots before you go as they obviously dont supply it 9. Visit Namma Bay. Pay no more than 30 Egyption pounds (around Â£3) and negotiate price BEFORE you set off. Dont wait till the end to pay. Namma Bay is amazing, although we did NO excursions as this was a strictly chill out holiday, it is well worth a visit, Hard Rock Cafe is a good drop off - meet up point and TGI Friday's does a mean steak if you crave one. Waiter there who goes by HONDA CIVIC is great and will advise where to go to after you eat. 10. Check your transfers to and from the hotel with your agent before you go and ensure it is in writting. Many people had to get Taxi or pay extra as they were not on the list when they got off the plane. 11. Do expect to be hasseled by Spa staff and water sport staff who many times a day come round and offer massage etc. If you dont want to DONT seem interested. Just politely say no thankyou over and over again. soon they get the message. DON'Ts: 1. Dont take towels. The hotel provides beach-pool towels daily 2. Dont attempt to bring back Shisha (bongs) by hand luggage WHATEVER any one says. we travelled light so only took one case for the two of us. we had to repack it 2 times in the airport before we came home to try and get the Shisha in the main case as they wouldnt let us take by hand....so be warned. 3. Dont expect 5*. Its a good 4. 4. Dont get a Visa at the airport when you arrive UNLESS you plan on leaving your resort, ie visiting Ciaro etc. Many people believe you should invest in one, but actually a total waste of money unless you are going anywhere. 5. Dont walk on the coral. people did and got a telling off. Use the jetty provided to snorkel. 6. Dont feed the fish. though there are signs saying not too everywhere, one bloke got his thumb taken off by a box fish when feeding it on the jetty. 7. Dont eat too late. tables go quickly as does the best of the food 8. Dont leave getting sunbed too late. we were there at 8am most mornings to find many had already been reserved with Towels by Germans, Russians or the Italians. 9. Dont have ice in your drinks if you go OUT. It is not bottled like the hotels ice. 10. Dont expect a "adult" only stay. there are lots of families and young children My husband and I arrived back from a 10 night all inc stay at the royal grand sharm (used to be the Iberotel Grand Sharm for other reviews) and we feel we have had a really enjoyable holiday. We flew BA who were great and booked through DialAFlight, who we have used many times. We had a night flight out, so arrived Egypt time 6am. The check in time was from 2pm that day but within 30 mins we were in a room, delux sea view, although not sure their standard of delux sea view is the same as ours. Our room, #460 was situated at the rear of the hotel but higher up to the sea was far away for view point, although you could see it...the room was clean and big enough for the two of us. If you are after a relaxing holiday with guarenteed sun this hotel is ideal. Good budget, and from speaking with other brits better than a lot of other hotels. Would i recommend to someone? Yes. Would we go back? Dont know. Would perhaps try the Hyatt next although if we couldnt get in there we would consider revisiting."
- Travel date: 14th November 2009
Family Held Against Their Will - iberotel Grand Sharm
"As for what occurred it as follows: We were transferred to the Hotel via "Wings Tours" upon our arrival in Egypt. On arrival at our Hotel we handed the "VOUCHER" as requested to the Hotel Reception Desk during the process of booking in. I might ad that we only had a 6 night stay and not the 7 nights that we paid for! On Saturday 25th Oct in the morning we asked the hotel reception staff if they could call WINGS TOURS to arrange our transfer to the airport Sunday morning. They called the WINGS TOUR OPERATORS and handed the telephone to us. Wings told me they would pick us up at the hotel for the transfer to the airport at 01:50hrs Sunday morning. At 22:00hrs Saturday 25th the hotel reception telephoned our room and told me that my hotel bill had not been paid! I was a bit confused because we had paid any additional services the day before when we arranged the transfer with wings tours! I said maybe I should come down to reception and speak with them as it was not very clear what they were saying on the telephone. I went to reception 5 minutes later with my wife and son and they said that our tour operator had gone bust and said "JUST LIKE XL AIRLINES" your uk operators have gone bust! I said that what has this to do with me because I have paid my hotel bill and also I have paid "IN FULL" my holiday cost when I booked it some 12 - 13 weeks prior to travelling! The hotel staff said they do not accept any "VOUCHERS" for holidays from WINGS TOURS and that they have not been paid for my holiday! I said, how is this going to affect me, I have paid I am ABTA & ATOL protected! They said you will not be allowed to leave the hotel until we receive payment "IN CASH" for our stay in Hotel Grand Sharm. They said that I need to contact the UK tour operator and arrange "immediate" payment or I will not be allowed to leave. I was very concerned at this point. My son started to panic at this time after hearing this from the hotel staff and also was very worried when the reception desk was approached by security staff with guns! My wife had to calm him down because he was worried about the men with guns and being told that we could not leave the hotel! I tried calling the UK tour operator which they said was LOWCOSTBEDS.COM on their emergency number but I only got an answerphone. They then said you must call WINGS TOURS in Egypt because they will not speak with the hotel staff and that I should tell WINGS TOURS to come to the hotel and pay the bill IN CASH before they would let us leave! Time was getting on and I was getting extremely concerned. I called WINGS TOURS and they said that it was nothing to do with them and that they had given a VOUCHER to the hotel for my stay and that was all they were prepared to do! The man on the phone "WINGS TOURS" also said that he was the person who would be transferring us back to the airport at 01:50hrs! So I told him that we were not being allowed to leave the hotel until the bill $1,764.00 US DOLLARS was paid in cash! He said that it was not his problem. I said to the hotel staff that we need to return to our room and finish packing because it was getting late! We returned to our room and was in a state of SHOCK at what had just happened, knowing that there was no way we could raise $1,764.00 US DOLLARS before we could leave the hotel. My Wife and my Son were very distressed and did not know what was going to happen with us. At 01:30hrs Sunday morning the telephone rang again and it was WINGS TOURS saying that they were in the Hotel reception waiting for us to transfer us to the airport. They said do we want them to arrange the hotel staff to collect our luggage from our room and I said yes. We were relieved at last and thought that all was OK and went down to the reception desk to hand in our keys. When we handed in our keys the reception staff said that we can not leave until the bill has been paid! I said that WINGS TOURS were here in the hotel and I thought that all was now OK. They said no, we need to pay the bill before we are allowed to leave! The WINGS TOURS person then walked out of the hotel! I said that I was unable to pay $1,764.00 US DOLLARS and was it possible for me to pay using a credit card! After some consultation they accepted our credit card for the payment in US DOLLARS and allowed us to leave the hotel. WINGS TOURS then transferred us to the airport to which my wife and son were still very very distressed at whether we would be in time for our flight back to the UK. I wish to add that this completely wrecked our stay in Egypt and this was a very special 20th Wedding Anniversary present to my wife."
- Travel date: 30th October 2008
Royal Grand Sharm Hotel is also called
- Iberotel Grand Sharm